Background & Aims: Hepatic, splenic, portal, and mesenteric veins are confluent elements within the splanchnic system. It is therefore unclear whether thromboses of isolated segments represent unique entities. We compared etiologies, recurrence, and survival of patients with thromboses of different splanchnic venous segments. Methods: An inception cohort of individuals was identified with first lifetime incident of splanchnic vein thrombosis between 1980 and 2000. We performed a case-controlled comparison of recurrent thrombosis and survival data with those of patients with deep venous thrombosis (DVT). Results: The study (832 patients; mean age, 53 ± 17 years; 42% women) included patients with isolated portal (n = 329), mesenteric (n = 76), splenic (n = 62), and hepatic (n = 45) vein thrombosis and patients with multisegment involvement (n = 320). Malignancy (27%) and cirrhosis (24%) were the most common etiologies. Recurrence-free survival 10 years after splanchnic vein thrombosis (76%) was comparable with that after DVT (68%) and not improved by anticoagulant therapy. Hormone therapy was the only independent predictor of recurrence (hazard ratio [HR], 2.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.09-4.45; P = .03). Major bleeding was 6.9/100 patient-years. Gastroesophageal varices (HR, 2.63; 95% CI, 1.72-4.03; P < .001) and warfarin therapy (HR, 1.91, 95% CI, 1.25-2.92; P = .003) were independent predictors of bleeding. The 10-year survival rate of patients with splanchnic vein thrombosis (60%) was lower than that of patients with DVT (68%, P < .05). Older age (HR, 1.03; 95% CI, 1.02-1.03), active cancer (HR, 2.23; 95% CI, 1.78-2.78), and myeloproliferative disorder (HR, 1.92; 95% CI, 1.41-2.61) were independent determinants of mortality (P < .001). Conclusions: Splanchnic vein thrombosis depends on the pathology of the organ supplied. On the basis of the low rate of recurrence and substantial rate of major hemorrhage, prolonged anticoagulant therapy does not appear to be justified.
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